The in-game collapse of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin on Monday Night Football triggered an outpour of support. One way people are expressing their well-wishes for the 24-year-old is via donating to a GoFundMe he set up a while back.
The initial goal of the initiative was to raise $2,500 for a toy drive. That number has since been surpassed significantly: while it stood at $2,900 heading into Monday it has since climbed above the $7 million mark.
Among the top donors are several current and former members of the New England Patriots.
Team owner Robert Kraft is leading the way with a symbolic donation of $18,003. The number 18 stands for “chai” or “life” in the Jewish faith, with the number 3 representing Hamlin’s jersey number.
Other current Patriots to donate to Hamlin’s cause include quarterback Mac Jones and his family ($2,183), defensive backs Devin McCourty ($2,000), Marcus Jones ($1,000) and Myles Bryant ($1,000), defensive tackle Lawrence Guy ($1,000), and backup QB Brian Hoyer ($1,000). They are among several current NFL players to donate to Hamlin’s charity, helping both increase the amount raised and the awareness for the issue.
“This fundraiser was initially established to support a toy drive for Damar’s community, sponsored by the Chasing M’s Foundation,” Hamlin’s family wrote on the GoFundMe page. “However, it has received renewed support in light of Damar’s current battle and we can’t thank all of you enough. Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us. ...
“Damar created The Chasing M’s Foundation to use as a vehicle to bring lasting impact to his community. The foundation supports toy drives, back-to-school drives, kids camps, and more. We’re hopeful about Damar’s future involvement in disbursing the incredibly generous contributions.”
Former Patriots players have also supported he cause since Monday. Tom Brady donated $10,000, with Josh McDaniels and Jason McCourty chipping in $2,500 and $2,000, respectively.
Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during the Bills’ Monday night game at he Cincinnati Bengals on Monday. He had to receive CPR and supplemental oxygen on the field and was later transported to a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition to this day.
The game between the Bills and Bengals was postponed and will not be resumed this week. Buffalo’s Week 18 game against the Patriots, meanwhile, remains scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 8, 1 p.m. ET.
If you too want to support Damar Hamlin’s charity, please click here.